My son has a keen eye.
"Mom. I think so & so has autism," he says, on our way home from day camp."
"Why is that, Seth?"
"Because he is really smart, and sometimes he has a hard time."
"In what way?"
"Well. He screams when he gets overwhelmed. And he flaps his hands."
It's not the first undiagnosed (or undisclosed) child Seth's radar has gone off for. Like most autism moms, he can spot one a mile away.
I would trust my son's diagnostic skills over those of any pediatrician. After all, he's had a seven year residency and he loves a person with autism.
Seth gets it. He is kind. He'll go the extra mile to include this boy. I've seen him work. He'll let him have the swing to avoid a meltdown. He'll point out to others how smart this boy is.
In an ideal world, all kids would be appreciated for who and all they are. For now, kids riding under the radar are lucky to have autism sibs floating around in their midst.
Michelle O’Neil has contributed to A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Autism, and Special Gifts: Women Writers on the Heartache, the Happiness and the Hope of Raising a Special Needs Child. Her work has been featured in Literary Mama, The Imperfect Parent, Age of Autism, Cool Cleveland, The Bark's blog, and will also appear later this year in the professional occupational therapy publication Sensory Integration Special Interest Section (SISIS) Quarterly Newsletter. Her daughter Riley, ten, has Asperger's. Michelle blogs at www.fullsoulahead.com.